At The Window Source we believe that informed customers are happy customers!

There are many options for replacement windows on the market today that you will come across during your shopping.  There are a lot of good companies out there, but we have seen a handful of bait-and-switch tactics being presented by some window sales companies that are misleading customers who deserve a fair deal.  Below are some tips to help you compare different options and avoid paying more than you have to:

1. The NFRC label will help you indicate the real energy-saving value of the window

The NFRC label is probably the most important factor when shopping for replacement windows. In short, this label will help you level the playing field and take the “sales pitch” out of the window. Every major window manufacturer submits their windows to the non-biased National Fenestration Rating Council to obtain energy saving ratings, and they print those ratings on the NFRC label.  On the NFRC label you will find four rating numbers: The U-Factor, the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, The Visible Transmittance, and the Air Leakage.

U-Factor indicates the insulation value with a measurement of how much heat loss occurs through the window.  The lower the U-Factor number is, the better the insulation value (and hence, the better the window). There are a lot of companies that charge more for windows that don’t represent a better energy saving value when compared to competing windows.   To make an equal comparison you can use this simple equation:  Price of the window ÷ U-Factor = Insulation value ratio.

2. The material of the window frame makes a big difference:

Anatomy of a Vinyl Window

While most manufacturers have migrated to a vinyl window construction, there are other options out there that you may come across.

The latest generation of window manufacturing technology makes use of  a synthetic, vinyl  material for many key benefits. Vinyl windows are made of a non-porous material, which prevents air or moisture from seeping through. Vinyl is also less affected by heating and cooling expansion, so it upholds its shape and rigidity where sealed to the glass. Vinyl is easily molded, and therefore allows for advanced chambering and grooves to be applied to the the frame, further providing insulation and restriction of undesired air flow.

Vinyl windows can be configured with a variety of woodgrain veneers to provide a desired cosmetic warmth offered with wooden frames.  Vinyl windows frames also be installed behind your existing wood trim so to keep a desired interior appearance while providing incredible increases in energy savings.

Aluminum and other metallic window frames, common in new home construction, are usually cheaper, but their energy saving value is greatly diminished due to the insulation properties.   Metal heats and cools very rapidly, which does not make it a good choice for reducing heat transfer. Also, metallic frames must be welded or screwed together which increases undesired airflow.

Wooden window frames do provide a better insulation value than metal windows, but their subjectivity to weather and moisture allow undesired expanding and condensing and exposure to decay (rotting) over time.   Wooden windows do not offer the advanced chambering and enhanced insulation found in some vinyl windows.  If you are attracted to  the cosmetic appeal of a wooden window, but want to retain the benefits of a vinyl window construction, consider the Window Source 9000 series, which is offered with a variety of woodgrain finishes, applied to the superior construction of vinyl frames.

Click here to see the recommended window U-Factor values for your region3. Triple pane windows are not always the best solution for the money:

Click here to see the recommended window U-Factor values for your region.

Multiple glass panes do offer an advanced protection against unwanted airflow, but often the higher price of a triple paned window does not offer a significant enough increased energy savings over a double paned window.  In other words, just because it is the most expensive window, it does not mean that it is necessarily the best window to meet your needs. Energy Star has a published chart of recommended U-Factor for the region you live in for maximum savings. You can use this to determine the U-Factor that will be sufficient for the climate where you live.

4. The Value of a Window is not necessarily determined by the price:  

There are many window companies that charge hundreds of dollars more for windows that offer the same energy-saving value and aesthetic appeal as competitor windows. We have seen examples of in-home estimates where our competitor was charging $650 for the exact same window that we offer for $250.  The only difference, literally, was the price. Most major windows are manufactured to similar standards, using the same technology, and often in the same exact factory. Do your research so that you don’t get bamboozled and pay more than you should for the exact same thing.  Click here to get a free estimate from the Window Source.

5. Proper installation is just as important as the window you choose.

The window itself will insulate against the surface area it covers, but more energy can be lost through the seals around the window than anywhere else.  Proper installation is key to making sure all airflow is eliminated.  Be sure to ask about the experience level of your window installer and ensure that they are using a low expansion spray foam to seal remaining gaps between the frame and your home. If you believe you are losing energy around the frame of your windows, techs at The Window Source of Tulsa can help you check the installation quality and test for leaks.